Hey guys. I have some questions about home generators.
First, a little back story. I live on the East coast in a very rural area. Hurricane Sandy left me without power for 15 days. I was lucky that a buddy had an old Sears 1100 W unit he loaned me after the first week. Was enough to get by on but it drank about a gallon of gas every 45 minutes. In the aftermath of Sandy fuel was non-existent. I was lucky that I have alot of fuel cans. When a tanker came to town I was able to stock up with enough to get me through for a few days. I didn't run the generator all the time. Just a bit here and there to keep my fish from dying and to watch a DVD at night.
This week I was on Craigslist selling something for a friend when I looked up "generators" There are quite a few and I saw an old (Very old) 3500W Listed as "Not running" for $75. I bought it, bad gas and all. 30 minutes later I had it running. I then scored a Coleman 200W unit, not running for $50. Again, bad gas. Tonight I bought a 5000W for $50. It's in the back of my convertable as I can't lift it out myself. I shot it with some starting fluid and gave it 2 pulls and it stuttered and stalled. So, more old gas....
I've been mentioning this to friends and family and my hippy BIL already offered me $250 for the 3500W unit. So now I'm thinking of selling them all and buying one big one to run my whole house. Running or not running, there are deals out there !
Here's what I need to know. How big ? I'm in a modest 2 BR house. Forced air/oil heat. Electric water heater, Electric stove, Fish tank, Electric dryer, water pump, big TV and computer. I know I can't run everything at once.
What to look for ? Hondas are expensive and I don't see any listed as not running. Generac seems to be a popular one. Are off brands alright ? I see a few big ones cheap that don't run but they have Briggs and Stratton engines. Is B&S still considered quality ?
And what's with this oil change stuff ? My neighbor bought one after the storm and he was complaining it needs it's oil changed every 20 hours. Then again he's a huge liberal beta male who doesn't even own a screwdriver.
Any help would be great !